I’ve never forgotten the powerful mantra, “Never sell to a stranger”, emblazoned on the front of a bright red brochure from Ogilvy Direct in the mid-1980’s as I started my career in data marketing.
Since then, the importance of data has grown strongly with both direct marketing and contact management developing with sales force automation, one-to-one marketing, and customer relationship management towards perhaps the Holy Grail – the single customer view. In recent times, customer data integration, master data management and the growing importance of data governance generally are establishing themselves as the way to reach this ultimate prize.
But are we wasting our time (and vast amounts of our company’s money), investing so much in customer data? According to proponents of the next customer revolution – Volunteered Personal Information (VPI) – we might be. The IDM Data Council is helping to drive the debate on this fascinating development in data by presenting “VPI – the next customer relationship revolution”, sponsored by DQM Group, on 28 January 2010.
Alan Mitchell, founder of the think tank ctrl-shift.co.uk, will explain why it is vital that today’s marketers understand the opportunities presented by VPI – and why handing your customers control of their own data, far from being a threat, signals the way to better, closer, more profitable customer relationships than your competitors:
- Technology is allowing customers to share more information with you than you could ever gather on a CRM database
- But they’ll only share it if they want to
- VPI opens opportunities for greater relevance, lower costs, improved ROI and increased competitiveness
- So what will be the new “data contract” between individuals and organisations?
Not least as we emerge from recession into a fundamentally changed economic landscape, are our traditional marketing premises being thrown out? And will new rules, structures and models of engagement be our currency? Evidently, today’s successful organisations are already reaping the rewards from adopting VPI strategies.
Agree or disagree, you need to understand the implications of consumers’ growing willingness to share personal data in return for clear benefits and understand whether VPI will become the next revolution in marketing, or whether it will be just another expensive fad and that we should not be distracted from our goal to develop effective CRM based on a single, accurate view of our customers.
The IDM Data Council would love fellow marketers to join us on the 28th January for the debate. This important first council event of 2010 is free to IDM members and only £19 for non members. It is nearly fully booked, though, so hurry and reserve your place.
Perhaps we’ll never need to worry again about “selling to strangers” as perhaps in the future they’ll come to us first with a clear interest and need.
(To find out more about the event, call the IDM on 020 8614 0277 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org)